Come to yourself

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.

There was a man who had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, “Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.” So he divided his property between them…. He came to himself. … “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.” … “Let us eat and celebrate, for this son of mine was dead and is alive again!’ … “I have been working like a slave for you.” … “Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.”
—from Luke 15

There come times when we “come to ourselves” and know that we can not be the person we are trying to be. We have no choice but to let that person die. The younger son can’t be the independent, self-defined maverick. Nor can he be the repentant sinner. The father won’t treat him as either of those, but only as his Beloved. The older son can’t be the righteous one to whom something is owed. He, too, can only be the Beloved. Even the father can’t be the patriarch of a close, healthy family. He can only be Beloved.

You can’t be that person you are trying so hard to be: the one everyone likes… the one who is right… the middle aged person whose body works properly… the spiritually mature person who knows what you’re doing…. You try to be such a person, but you can’t. That’s all right. Let that person die.

When we let go of the person we think we ought to be, then we have no option but to receive the person God gives us to be. That one is neither sinful nor righteous, but Beloved. And, like the father in the story, one who has died and been raised is loving, generous, patient and forgiving. This is the mystery of dying and being raised.

Let the person you are trying so hard to be die and rest in peace. Let God, with infinite grace, grant you the person you truly are: Beloved.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

Copyright © Steve Garnaas-Holmes

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